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It’s Important to Hire and Fire on Time
One of the worst things that an employer can do is hold on to a non-productive employee or not hire a talented one. Employers have different reasons for timing hiring and firing decisions.
Budget, department morale, and market conditions are all reasons provided for lags in hiring and firing activities. In a bad economy, employers cite budget cuts as a reason to hire less and fire more. During seasonal periods, employers have expressed concerns about adding or subtracting from their employee headcount because they do not want to impact morale. In addition, when employers are launching new products or introducing new services to the market, they have also expressed reservations about altering headcount based on public perception.
Waiting to hire new employees can have a dismal impact on a department. Managers become overworked and so do their direct reports. There is also a natural slow progression in promotional opportunities when an area is short staffed. Management is not an easy task, and hiring always seems to end up on the bottom of the ‘to do’ list. Because of this, managers will rush the hiring process because they “need a candidate yesterday.” The end result is managers typically hire someone who is not a good fit for the position.
Managers should approach hiring new candidates like they manage ongoing projects in the department. There should be an allotted time to properly review resumes, interview, and make the final hiring decision. Segmenting the hiring process appropriately is the only way to ensure that a new candidate is a good fit.
Surprisingly, waiting to fire a bad employee has the same negative impact on an area. Managers have to adjust work delegation to “pick up the slack” of a non-performing employee. Since keeping a non-performer around is not fair to others in the department, it natural that other colleagues will become disgruntled.
Firing an employee takes the same level of caution and selectivity involved in a hiring decision. Because of laws that protect employees, employers must have sufficient evidence that an employee is violating operating practices in some way. There should be a number of attempts to help an employee rectify behavior before the actual firing decision is made; and, shortly before the firing decision, employers should plan to protect the intellectual property of the company by planning for the firing event. This includes having security available or other resources that protect both parties.
Although making a decision to hire or fire an employee can be difficult, employers must realize that the timing of these decisions can have a significant impact on business. As they say in business: “Timing is everything.”
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